The State of HIV in Black America
Writing for Ebony, Rod McCullom takes an honest look at where African Americans stand when it comes to the epidemic.
The good news: The number of new infections has finally stabilized at about 50,000 new cases per year in the USA since the mid-1990s.
The bad news: The epicenter of the epidemic is Black America. African-Americans and other Black communities represent only 12% of the nation's population but account for nearly half -- some 44% -- of all new HIV infections, report the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Black gay and bisexual men suffer the highest new infection rates in the country.
"African-Americans account for about half of the more than one million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States," Donna Hubbard McCree, PhD told EBONY.com. Dr. McCree is the Associate Director for Health Equity of the CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. "And about half of those who die from AIDS every year."
"African-Americans tend to have sex with other African-Americans. So even with less risky behavior their chances are much higher of meeting are partner who is infected," adds Dr. McCree.
But there is some good news on Black women. Recent data show that new infections -- these are called seroconversions -- among Black women are declining for the first time in over a decade.
Read Rod McCullom's entire piece at Ebony.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.